Saturday, January 7 — During the Revolutionary War, the rebelling colonies and the Continental Congress were anything but too big to fail. To the contrary, finances were very spotty and precarious. To help put affairs in order and make credit available, the first commercial bank in the U.S. opened on this date in 1782, just a week after being chartered by Congress. Called the Bank of North America, it was capitalized at $400,000, which roughly would be over $7.5 billion today. The names of founding stockholders read like a list of our Founding Fathers: Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, James Monroe, John Jay, and John Paul Jones. Today there are over 93,000 commercial banking establishments in the U.S., employing nearly 1.6 million people.
You can find current data on the country’s economy by downloading the ‘America’s Economy’ mobile application here.